What is Glutamine?

L-glutamineWhat kind of role does glutamine play when it comes to the way your body functions? This is a question that a lot of people have. The truth is, it is a critical component that your body must have in order to function normally. Glutamine is a substance that is produced naturally within the body and can be obtained through additional dietary sources such as various meats and green, leafy vegetables. Despite that fact, there are times when a person is not getting enough glutamine to live a healthy lifestyle. In cases such as these, it may be necessary to supplement the glutamine that is already being produced inside the body in order to ensure continued good health.


Glutamine Background

As previously mentioned, glutamine is an important amino acid. The reason it is so important is because it helps maintain many of the vital processes within the human body. For instance, it helps the body convert protein into usable energy and also helps the body use their protein to build additional muscle mass. As a result, it helps convert stored energy into energy that the body can then use to power through a day. This in turn helps the body perform at a high level from a physical standpoint, even when the demands that are placed on the body are extreme. Glutamine is therefore a key component for recovery after physical exertion. More importantly, it is used to safely rid the blood of toxins that could otherwise harm the individual in question. Despite all of these things, its important functions do not stop there. It is also critical for the proper function of some of the body's most important systems.


Glutamine Organ Function

When it comes to organ function, glutamine is frequently responsible for kidney health, as it helps process many of the waste products away from the kidneys. Remember how this amino acid is responsible for safely transporting toxins in the bloodstream? This is what allows it to transport these toxins away from the kidneys as opposed to letting the toxins seriously damage them and render them incapable functioning. It is also critical for healthy muscles as well as the development of new muscle mass. Without the proper levels of glutamine within the body, it is virtually impossible to have proper muscle function throughout the body. Furthermore, the amino acid is essential for the proper function of organs like the lungs and the brain. Without the right levels of glutamine in the body, many organ systems can begin to malfunction. In extreme cases, these systems may even shut down.


Metabolic Function of Glutamine

Glutamine is also used in the body to achieve the necessary level of metabolic function. In fact, many individuals that say that they have a slow metabolism can often attribute this problem to low levels of glutamine in the body. The problem is, they may not be fully aware that this is the problem. Without this vitally important amino acid, it is virtually impossible for the body to metabolize food at a normal rate. As a result, many individuals often feel tired and sluggish. They might also find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. They may gain an excessive amount of weight even though they do not have a tendency to overeat and they try to get some moderate physical activity on a regular basis. They may even find themselves becoming more irritable as time goes on. All of this can be attributed to slow a person’s metabolism, all due to a lack of glutamine in the body.


Glutamine and Glutathione

How are glutamine and glutathione connected? One can be thought of as the precursor to another. The main difference between the two is that glutathione can be thought of as something that reduces inflammation, an important antioxidant that is capable of keeping inflammation levels manageable within the body. Though they are very much connected, it is essential that both of these substances be present within the body in order for it to function normally. Levels of either one that are too high or too low can cause physical problems, especially when one or the other is on the low side. Typically, the body is capable of regulating these levels on its own so for most people, there is no need to put a great deal of thought into the matter. For others, it may be necessary to ingest additional glutamine or glutathione in order to live a healthy life.


Treating Diseases and Conditions


These substances are even more critical for any individual that is trying to recover from serious illness or injury. In fact, glutamine and its cousin glutathione are often used to treat patients that have serious and potentially life threatening diseases such as AIDS, HIV and even cancer. The reason that they can be used so effectively is because they reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of infection in the body and promoting healthy function of critical organ systems. This can give the body the critical support that it needs in order to overcome physical challenges. As a result, the person that is fighting for these diseases has a better opportunity to remain strong as opposed to succumbing to these diseases early on.

Without a doubt, the body functions much better when all of these substances are at optimum levels. The problem is, many people that have an imbalance of one substance or the other are largely unaware of it. As a result, they may simply know that they don't feel right, but they are not quite sure exactly what is going on. As the substances are used more and more frequently to treat injury and illness, it becomes easier to understand the vital connection between the two substances and overall physical health. This in turn helps people live healthier lives. Even for those that are suffering from terminal illnesses, their quality of life can be dramatically improved when they increase their levels of glutamine and glutathione. Therefore, the importance of these two substances should never be discounted or dismissed.